How to Make an Epoxy Resin River Table
Today, I show you how to make an epoxy resin river table using glow powder. This live edge epoxy resin river table is made from sinker cypress and glows in the dark. Furthermore, I teach you how to embed objects in an epoxy resin river table.
The leftover sinker cypress from my previous river table and my desire to improve my skills and add unique features inspired me to create this table.
Repetitive tasks bore me easily and I dreaded the thought of making the same table twice.
Although this sinker cypress table matches the other live edge river table, it is very different because it GLOWS in the dark without lights.
Be Sure to Get Your DIY plans for this Project by Clicking HERE
Tools I Used for this River Table
Also, I compiled a list of all the tools I use in my shop including the tools I use to run this website. Click here to go there now.
Sinker Cypress Wood
First of all, I used Sinker Cypress for this project as I have in many of my other projects.
This is the third sinker cypress table projects within the last 12 months. I like using sinker cypress because it’s unique grain patterns, color variations, durability, and history.
Sinker Cypress is fairly soft, which makes it susceptible to dents and scratches. I normally use sinker cypress for desks or entryway tables.
This piece of sinker cypress was already the correct length. I cut the original piece in half for my previous project, so the remaining piece was exactly 48″ long.
The first step in this project was to remove the bark.
First, I peeled away the loose bark with my old chisel that I recently resharpened.
Next, I used a rubber mallet and chisel to remove the bark I couldn’t peel off.
Then, smoothed the surface as much as I could without damaging the live edge.
Milling Sinker Cypress
In order to save time and work later in the project, I needed to mill the sinker cypress to achieve straight sides, a flat surface, square ends, and no loose debris.
I needed to rip the sinker cypress in half with a straight edge, so I used my straight edge jig with dovetail clamps.
Without my straight edge jig, I could not secure the sinker cypress board to the table saw fence because both sides had a live edge (not straight).
First, I located the middle of the board by reading the grain pattern and measuring the front, middle, and back.
Next, I secured the sinker cypress to the jig using the dovetail clamps, raised my table saw blade, and pushed it through. Then, I verified the sides were straight by putting them against each other.
Planing and Sanding
Planing and sanding are the final stages of the milling process.
First, I ran the sinker cypress through my planer and removed 1/64″ with each pass. Also, the wood was planed at the lumber yard, so there was no need to remove a lot of material.
Next, I used my orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper to remove the loose debris from each live edge.
Each piece of sinker cypress had one straight side, so I was able to use my miter saw to square each end of each board – 4 cuts total.
I kept the melamine scraps from my previous led epoxy resin river table project, but I did not have enough to enclose both pieces of sinker cypress in a box.
Since I made a HUGE mess and wasted a lot of epoxy resin during my last project, I used a new technique to seal the ‘river’ and prevent epoxy resin from leaking from the bottom.
First, I used a piece of melamine that was long enough for the sinker cypress.
The melamine was not wide enough to cover the bottom of each board. Each board was hanging off about 4 inches on each side, which didn’t matter because it didn’t fall off.
Next, I measured how wide I wanted the boards and make sure this width was consistent on both ends. I marked the spot with a pencil once each end was parallel.
Then, I cut 2 end pieces of melamine a bit higher than the melamine plus sinker cypress. I attached it to the bottom melamine piece with brad nails.
Finally, I removed the sinker cypress from the melamine.
Apply Furniture Wax
First, I coated the melamine with Renaissance Furniture wax to prevent the epoxy resin from attaching to the melamine.
Then, I used Johnson wax on my previous epoxy resin table projects, but I prefer Renaissance wax because it is a bit thicker and more greasy/wet.
First, I placed the 2 pieces of sinker cypress back on the melamine and lined them up with the pencil marks to ensure each end was the same length.
Next, I used hot glue to seal each end. Then, I used silicone to seal the bottom of each live edge (length wise) to prevent the epoxy resin from seeping through.
Epoxy Resin Tub
I built an outfeed table for my table saw and decided to make the underside of the table a tub to catch excess epoxy resin. It’s not pretty, but it works. 😉
The underside of the table simply has 5 12″ 2×4 pieces which protrude vertically to hold pieces of various size.
I placed the sinker cypress table on the 2x4s.
Next, I verified the table was level with my leveler. Then, I secured the sinker cypress to the melamine with scrap pieces of plywood and a combination of F-clamps and bar clamps.
Test Glow Powder
I wanted this epoxy resin river table look like the other table for matching/decorative purposes, but I also wanted it to be unique.
So, I decided to add glow powder, or photoluminescence powder, to the base epoxy resin layers. Consequently, the river bottom would glow from the river bottom through the fire glass.
My family and I love the ocean, so I chose a blue glow powder (link under ‘Tools I Used’).
To avoid a potential disaster, I tested the glow powder to verify the color before mixing it with epoxy resin. It would be really BAD if I had the wrong color!
I purchased the glow powder from Art N Glow. They included a black light with my purchase, which I used to verify the color of the powder.
The glow powder is charged by UV light, sunlight, or black light.
First Epoxy Resin Pour
For this project, I used